Tags: rare | whale dolphin | oregon | beach

Rare Whale Dolphin Washes Up on Oregon Beach

Rare Whale Dolphin Washes Up on Oregon Beach

Jumping Southern right whale dolphin in the Strait of Magellan, Patagonia, Chile. (Juergen Schonnop/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 15 June 2018 08:34 AM

A rare right whale dolphin washed up on the Oregon coast last Friday, making it only the fourth time in more than 20 years that one of the mammals had been seen on the northern Oregon coast, The Oregonian newspaper reported.

Nehalem Bay State Park officials said the 5-foot female whale dolphin was found at Manzanita Beach where the animal was taken to the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, the newspaper said.

The Oregonian wrote that little is known about the right whale dolphin, named because of their resemblance to right whales. The animal looks like a cross between an orca and a bottlenose dolphin with black skin and white stripe on the sides.

While they are believe to live across the northern Pacific Ocean, there is no estimate of their global population or knowledge of their migration patterns, The Oregonian reported.

The Seaside Aquarium, in Seaside, Oregon, wrote on its Facebook page that a necropsy performed at Portland State University on the animal was inconclusive on its death, but they were waiting on more test results to the narrow the cause.

"These beautiful animals tend to live much further south and in deeper offshore waters (although they can range as far north as Alaska)," the aquarium said in its post. "Distribution depends on ocean conditions. Both north and south movements have been documented in association with changes in water temperature (moving south during colder water temperature periods and north during warmer water periods).

"… The northern right whale dolphin is known to travel in groups of up to 2,000 individuals, although they are more often is found in social groups of 200-300. They are also often found in association with other cetacean species, such as Pacific white-sided dolphins, humpback whales, and Dall's porpoise," the organization concluded.

The aquarium said whale dolphins were once threatened by unregulated high-seas drift nets, which was believed to cause their population decline by 24 to 73 percent. Drift nets laws in Oregon and California require that boaters use pinger devices that deliver acoustic warnings into the water column to reduce capture, the aquarium said.

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A rare right whale dolphin washed up on the Oregon coast last Friday, making it only the fourth time in more than 20 years that one of the mammals had been seen on the northern Oregon coast.
rare, whale dolphin, oregon, beach
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2018-34-15
Friday, 15 June 2018 08:34 AM
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